Free Tuesday Trends sample: Hold Security rising, newspapers mixed, Cargill falling

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Hold Security: The Milwaukee cyber security firm makes headlines worldwide following its discovery of some 1.2 billion username and password combinations, more than 500 million email addresses and confidential information gathered from about 420,000 websites held by a Russian crime ring. Hold Security founder Alexander Holden — who came to Wisconsin with his parents from the former Soviet Union at age 14 and attended UWM — makes the disclosure public ahead of an industry conference, and draws criticism from some corners after the company pitches its paid security service in the aftermath. Holden, however, defends the measure as an attempt to keep his company on the minds of industry insiders — noting that Hold Security’s previous notification of victimized companies for free didn’t exactly translate into more business. He also says nondisclosure agreements prevent him from naming some companies affected this time around — and that he’s reluctant to name the many websites that remained vulnerable following the report.


Newspapers: A pair of restructuring moves in recent days roils the state’s newspaper industry. First, Journal Communications Inc. and E.W. Scripps Company announce plans to create separate companies out of their merged broadcast and newspapers operations. The new newspaper company would remain headquartered in Milwaukee as Journal Media Group, joining the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and its local publications with the 13 daily newspapers currently owned by Scripps. Meanwhile, the Scripps name and its Cincinnati headquarters will take over those companies’ TV, radio and digital media properties, including WTMJ TV and radio in Milwaukee. Then, Virginia-based Gannett Company announces plans to separate its print and broadcast operations into distinct companies, an effort to shield some operations from the ongoing decline in print advertising. The broadcast properties will be renamed, while Gannett will continue to oversee USA Today and 81 daily papers — including 10 in Wisconsin.


Cargill: The Minnesota-based food products and ag giant announces it’s shuttering its slaughterhouse in Milwaukee’s Menomonee Valley, almost immediately eliminating nearly 600 jobs in the city. A company spokesman attributes the decision to a long-term shortage of cattle plaguing the industry, a result of high grain prices and prolonged drought in some areas of the country. Industry observers aren’t surprised by the news, noting Milwaukee’s workforce was relatively small compared to other Cargill operations, including a 2,000-employee facility in Texas that was shuttered last year.